Settembre 2019

Continuo a chiedermi se e quanto sia etico investire in borsa. Per ora penso sia un buon esercizio per imparare qualcosa di finanza, risparmio ed economia. Negli ultimi mesi ho fatto ben poco, ho perso qualche dollaro con un paio di investimenti, in cui credo ancora, ma credo di aver risparmiato molto di più tenendomi lontano da un investimento che i più consideravano redditizio: Uber.

Non ho investito per un semplice motivo; non ho mai considerato etiche e giuste le scelte aziendali e di management. La storia recente mi sta dando ragione, le azioni al momento sono 11 $ sotto rispetto al prezzo di lancio e un recente articolo del New York Times racconta alcuni retroscena sull'azienda.

How Uber Got Lost

Il carattere del fondatore, Kalanick, era gia’ chiaro: In every game he played, every race he entered, in anything where he was asked to compete against others, he sought nothing less than utter domination.

E la voglia di dominare ha portato ad una serie di scelte aziendali poco intelligenti: The company began leasing to high-risk individuals with poor or nonexistent credit ratings. It worked — sort of. Growth surged as people who were never before eligible for loans suddenly had access to vehicles. Thousands of new drivers came onto the platform, and the managers in charge were given hefty rewards. But it was the ride-hailing equivalent of a subprime mortgage. And just like 2008, the negative consequences came soon after.

Silicon Valley’s Crisis of Conscience

Nel frattempo, gli ingegneri della Silicon Valley si stanno rendendo conto di alcuni errori che hanno portato la gente ad esser schiavi di cose inutili o usate male (Facebook?). Ora vogliono mettere mano al monitoraggio della salute, magari questa volta ci riescono senza far danni? Il New Yorker racconta di una clinica (californiana ovviamente, a Eselen) dove milionari CEO vanno per abbandonare i loro cellular e cercare di riprendere in mano le loro vite.

This isn’t a place,” a staffer told me while rolling a joint on a piece of rough-hewn garden furniture. “It’s a diaspora, a guiding light out of our collective darkness, an arrow pointing us toward the best way to be fully human.”

L’articolo termina nominando un anello intelligente (Bluetooth) che monitora il sonno. Lo proverei per capire quanto sia davvero utile, ma costa ancora troppo. Roba da CEO

He pointed to his smart ring. “This is a pretty simple piece of tech,” he said. “And yet it gives me data on my sleep patterns, heart rate, tells me which days to do yoga and at which times, and now I feel stronger and healthier than ever before in my life.” He brushed a firefly away from his face and gazed out over the ocean. “I think we’re figuring out how to find a balance,” he said. “How to make these tools our friends, not our enemies. I think we’re gonna get back there, man.”

E se per reinventare il modo di lavorare e ritrovare un equilibrio tra vita lavorativa e privata basterebbe guardare all’Italia? Magari come sul cibo, l’Italia ha qualcosa da dire anche sul lavoro?

Utopia, Abandoned

IN THE 1950S, the small town of Ivrea, which is about an hour’s train ride north of Turin, became the site of an unheralded experiment in living and working.

The people who still live in these towns are often descendants of the original company workers that inhabited them, even though the company has long since packed up and left. But Olivetti is unique among these places; for a time, it was likely the most progressive and successful company town anywhere in the world, existing not for the sake of control or convenience but rather representing a new and short-lived kind of corporate idealism, in which business, politics, architecture and the daily life of the company’s employees all informed one another.

Sebbene ne esistano vari di questi progetti e che probabilmente aziende come Google e Apple cercano di applicare metodi simili, l’articolo precisa che:

Today, the infrastructure the company built might sound like the standard “company town,” such as 19th-century Pullman, Ill., built by the Pullman railway company, but Olivetti was in fact different. In America, company towns first arose as a result of low-wage workers lacking both rights and basic amenities like transportation. The more dependent an employee was on the company he worked for, the more control the company had: Complacent workers whose boss is also their landlord don’t strike or ask for sick leave or better health care — or so the logic went. […] But Olivetti is unique among these places; for a time, it was likely the most progressive and successful company town anywhere in the world, existing not for the sake of control or convenience but rather representing a new and short-lived kind of corporate idealism, in which business, politics, architecture and the daily life of the company’s employees all informed one another.

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